[Rd] Wishlist: write R's bin path to the PATH variable and remove the version string in the installation dir under Windows

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Wed May 4 09:02:20 CEST 2011

>>>>> Wincent  <ronggui.huang at gmail.com>
>>>>>     on Wed, 4 May 2011 13:46:13 +0800 writes:

    > I also prefer to keep the old versions.  Sometimes, I have
    > spent time to set up the system with older version and
    > don't want to update to the latest (e.g. the new RGtk2
    > needs updated GTk2 as well) because the older still works
    > and I don't need the new features.

Well....  Thomas gave good reasons to keep old versions of R
*IN ADDITION* to the latest R version.
Exactly *because* that is so easy, it makes very much sense to
update to the newest version:

Use the latest R, and if you really have doubts, quickly run the
same R code in the older R version that is still available.

Note to Yihui Xie:  I agree 100% with the other R core members 
(Duncan, Simon, Thomas) who already explained why it is *GOOD*
to install R in version-named directories by default.

BTW: If you use ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) on Windows,
it now automatically(*) finds all versions of R
(* well, less generally, probably than Gabor's batch files; IIRC,
 we assume that the R versions were installed in the default place),
and provides them, both the 32bit and 64bit versions, in the ESS
menu, or via 
  M-x R- [Tab completion]
Very nice, very useful in my eyes.


    > Regards Ronggui

    > On 4 May 2011 13:26, Thomas Lumley <tlumley at uw.edu> wrote:
    >> On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 3:25 PM, Yihui Xie
    >> <xie at yihui.name> wrote:
    >>> 1. "Few Windows users use these commands" does not imply
    >>> they are not useful, and I have no idea how many Windows
    >>> users really use them. How do you run "R CMD build" when
    >>> you build R packages under Windows? You don't write
    >>> "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.13.0/bin/i386/R.exe CMD build",
    >>> do you?
    >>> I think the reason we have to mess with the PATH
    >>> variable for each single software package is that
    >>> Windows is Not Unix, so you may hate Windows instead of
    >>> a package that modifies your PATH variable.
    >>> For the choice of i386 and x64, you can let the user
    >>> decide which bin path to use. I believe the number of
    >>> users who frequently switch back and forth is fairly
    >>> small.
    >>> 2. Under most circumstances I just keep the latest
    >>> version of R. To maintain R code with old R versions
    >>> will be more and more difficult with new features and
    >>> changes coming in. Disk space is cheap, but time is not.
> I keep old versions for basically the same reasons you don't
    >> -- that is, I have analyses that ran under the old
    >> versions, and I can be sure they will give the same
    >> answer a year later if I keep the old versions. This
    >> isn't so much because of changes in R as because of
    >> changes in packages.
    >>   -thomas
    >> --
    >> Thomas Lumley Professor of Biostatistics University of
    >> Auckland
    >> ______________________________________________
    >> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
    >> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

Wincent Ronggui HUANG
    > Sociology Department of Fudan University PhD of City
    > University of Hong Kong
    > http://asrr.r-forge.r-project.org/rghuang.html

    > ______________________________________________
    > R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
    > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

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